Happiness Is Love of Eric in the Rearview Mirror

The kids and I drove off in one direction and my husband Eric in the other, us back to Houston and him on to San Antonio for a conference. We had just finished a peaceful weekend with family in tiny De Leon, Texas. Upcoming were several days of traveling for him and separation for us.  It would give me lots of time to write, although inspiration is a fickle thing.  Sometimes when he is gone, the emotion generated by missing him floods my pages; other times, I am too flat for creativity.  My training, especially swimming, would probably suffer in his absence as well.

When we were about one mile outside of De Leon, my 12-year old daughter Susanne said, “Mom, Eric is behind us with his flashers on, and he’s honking.” We could not hear his horn — or his repeated calls to my cell phone — due to the decibel level of her song selection: Jesse McCartney and Dream Street performing “Sugar Rush” (if you haven’t heard it, it’s as bad as you imagine).

I looked into my rear view mirror, and his emergency flashers and car filled the frame.  For a moment I panicked that he had bad news, but intuition grounded in experience told me otherwise.

“What did he forget?” I asked the kids.  My grandmother called people like Eric “a day late and a dollar short.”  He was forever forgetting something.

Opening my car door, I leaned out and peered back over my shoulder.  He loped in an exaggerated fashion to our old Suburban, like Rocky at the end of one of his workouts in the streets of Philadelphia. I’m sure the Hereford cows watching from the side of the road were as entertained as me.

“Mom wants to know what you forgot,” my son Clark announced before either of us could speak.

But Eric already had his arms around me and his face pressed against mine. He spoke so that only I could hear, which wasn’t hard to do with Jesse and the Suburban as cover.

“My favorite Brad Paisley song came on, and it made me want to touch you one more time. I figured I could still catch you.”

“What song, the one about the ticks?” I asked. “Eric! There are two kids in the car, and this is a public road, you know.”

“No! The one about the yellow pair of running shoes.”

“I have two pair; neither are yellow. Pink Adistars. “

“Oh good grief! You know the one; the one I think he wrote from me about you.”

I knew the one. I quit being difficult.

“You are so sweet. You drove after me just to tell me that?”

He nose-snuggled me. “And to touch you. And to tell you I love you, and I wish we were heading back to Houston, together.”

“And you didn’t even get pulled over for speeding.”

“I was definitely speeding.”  I could feel his smile against my face.

We held on to each other tight for another few moments, and the kids didn’t interrupt us — shocker.  My heart thumped its dread of the upcoming days without him, but I knew my fingers would dance happy words across the keys now. Maybe I’d even ride the darn bicycle. I sat on the side of the road and watched him in my rear view mirror as he walked back to his car, and I kept watching as he turned around and drove away, toward San Antonio this time.


p.s. I now own yellow Adistar running shoes.  I knew you’d want me to share that information with you.

p.p.s. Click this link the lyrics to Mac Davis’ “Texas in my Rear View Mirror,” alluded to in the title of this blog.

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  1. If I wasn’t tearing up, I’d be puking.
    That’s very sweet.
    It’s good for your kids to see that kind of love.
    Hopefully they will choose partners as thoughtful and generous as you two.

    Or maybe they’ll get addicted to crack and become hookers.
    Who knows…

    1. This is my “Heidi was on my blog all week” antidote post. And then you appear in the comments! For the love of God, woman 😉

      Does finding my teenage son porn surfing on the computer count under the “addicted to crack and become hookers” category? I’d blog on it, except that he’d catch me at it. Much like I caught him. Turn about is fair play, but I don’t think I could deal with the aftermath!

      Seriously, we hope they choose wisely in relationships. My parents still adore each other, hold hands, and leave discarded underclothing in weird places in their house (which was quite damaging to me in my younger years). They were a great example. Neither Eric nor I modeled loving relationships with our kids’ birth parents. We really do hope that the kids will have the self-respect and self-confidence to want and hold out for great partnerships.

  2. OK. Now that i have that out of the way, may I just say that this was goosebumpy and so awe-mantic. I’m glad it happened AFTER our 30 day challenge or it wouldn’t have been a tie. Then again, I don’t know. We spent 4 hours – FOUR HOURS – in Lowe’s yesterday getting the cabinets, sinks, faucets, garbage disposal (thank goodness), flooring, countertop tile, and paint to finish remodeling my new kitchen, bathroom and dining room cabinets. That’s pretty romantic in my book ’cause he does it just for me.

    Alpha Hubby’s song to me has always been “Little Red Riding Hood” – wolf howl.

    1. Hey, four hours at Lowe’s making decorating and procurement decisions is HUGELY romantic.

      Basically, Eric and I had our 30 days this last weekend in a 3 day period 😉

  3. I told a friend about you. She’s newly divorced and looking for Mr. Right. “It’s okay to get married again if you can find Pamelot. Otherwise, enjoy your freedom.”


  4. I was thinking that the little old car I was driving was not fast enough to catch up with Pamela on a mission (to get home in this case). And it was a little two lane road that there was no way I was going to pass her so she could see me.

    It was just one of those movements (When I turned to go AWAY from her the first time) that the thought runs through my head about how grateful I am, how much I will miss this person, and that if this happened to be the last time I would see her I wanted her to know how I felt.

    Its funny when she first wrote this and I saw the title for the first time I thought I was history, (looking at me in the rear view mirror), UH OHHHHHH.

    1. It was one of the sweetest things you have ever done, and, everyone that reads this blog knows that you are pretty darn good at bringing the “ahhhh” moments. I nearly ruined it because, I, as usual, take a while to catch on to the whole “we are having a romantic moment” cues, and have to be prodded along. You’re awesome, my love. I’m sure people think I make this crap up about you, but ladies, it is 100% true. He balances it out with exercise insanity, however. 🙂

  5. Okay, that was SUPER sweet! Yes, even a tear in my eye for the romance.

    You and your friend Heidi are HILARIOUS! You remind me of me and my best friend and blog buddy, Lela. Only you two just throw it out there. So entertaining and fun…

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